Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pride Goes Before The Fall

Pride goes before the fall.  As soon as you think you're untouchable, impenetrable, that's exactly when reality decides to bitch slap you across the face.  It's a thought that I constantly use to remind myself to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground.  That doesn't mean I haven't stumbled.  It only means that I've been lucky enough not to land flat on my face.  Yet.

Men, you know we're pretty stupid most of the time. I realized how stupid I was the other night.  I have been steadily increasing the number of guys that I've hooked up with, that I'm having ongoing conversations with. With one guy in particular, the conversation via text got pretty intense and heavy real quick.  This guy actually provided two opportunities for me to stumble over.

The first was that he turned out to be a bit needy, something which I should have recognized much earlier than I did.  So, as I said, I had been steadily increasing my activities.  This meant increasing the amount of time I turned on apps such as Scruff, Growlr or Grindr, as well as increasing the number of apps that I have installed on my phone.  I had also been increasing the number of conversations via text messages, for which I use a Google voice number, one of many that I own.  To protect myself, these Google voice text messages don't land on my phone, I have to go to a website to check them. This way, if my phone is ever searched, it's clean.  But, that set up is not very conducive to ongoing chats, since I have to remember to check for the messages rather than hearing the notification chime.  So, I decided to let the chats get forwarded to one of my email accounts that I use for work.  I can delete the incoming email immediately, then jump into Google's website to continue the conversation.

Pride goes before the fall.  I know the original proverb is "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall."  The meaning is the same.  I had become complacent, had gone for so long without even coming close to getting caught, that began to take more risks than I realized.  One night I was text-chatting with this guy, say his name is Barry.  I had said good night, as I was about to go to bed. Another message came in after having gone to bed.  My wife didn't see the message itself, but she did see a sender's name just before I swiped away the notification.  It was probably my quick reaction of getting rid of the notification and acting like a couldn't find the message she was asking about that caused the suspicion.  She then asked, "Are you hiding things from me again?", to which I answered, "No", trying to sound as sincere as possible.

I was so freaked out, I woke up in the middle of the night and cleaned my phone.  I removed the extra emails I was receiving from the other account.  But she actually already knows that account exists, so I removed everything out of that account. I deleted all the contacts, text messages, emails, and the most painful, I deleted all the photos that I had received from other guys, and the photos I had taken of myself.

I also deleted all the apps, Grindr, Growlr, Scruff.

My phone is not spotless.  My alternate Google account that contains my other email address and my other Google voice number have been scrubbed clean so that if she ever asked to see them, there would be nothing to see.  (None of these accounts are the one that I use for this blog, which she knows nothing about)

So was the first opportunity that Barry gave me to stumble.  I don't really blame him, but his neediness caused him to text me constantly.  The second opportunity was that when I didn't respond to the texts, he would text even more often.  And when I was sick with the flu, and I didn't respond to his texts all weekend, he flew off the handle.  I should have known, I should have seen the signs.  Luckily for me, I had not yet met this guy in person.  After that weekend, he called me names, called me a flake, said that I was going to hell for what I am doing.  (Honestly, I can't argue that point, except he was find with that before the weekend) Then he said that he would take advantage of any opportunity to expose me.  So, great, now I have someone out there who is angry and vindictive enough to actively try to destroy my life.  Fuck, what did I do.

Despite his rants, I stayed cool and calm.  I apologized, both for the lack of responses, and for that he felt that way.  I explained that obviously we weren't meant to be friends, since my friends are not so willing to give up on a friendship and my friends are much more understanding.  I haven't heard from him since, and it's been weeks.  I probably won't ever hear from him again.

You'd think I've learned my lesson, right?  Hehe, no.  I reloaded my contacts, retaken some of the photos, started the text-to-email function back up (but only when I am not at home).  I haven't loaded the apps back, and I hope that I remain strong enough to keep them off my phone.  I have found other ways to access them that are more discreet and that keep my phone clean.


  1. This might sound mean or cruel, but it's not meant to be. It's an encouragement to be more fully self-aware and thereby take control over how your life plays out.

    You are not fully invested in your marriage, which means it will slowly and inevitably unwind. As it does, you will need increasing support from men. This is already happening. YOUR neediness will make you increasingly reckless, and inevitably, you will be caught. That might happen within a few days or many years from now, but it will happen.

    Because your exposure and divorce are certain, right now you have the opportunity to have some control over how they happen. You have the opportunity to not be despised by your wife, kids and extended family because of your actions.

    I suggest that you slowly and incrementally expose yourself so that there are no harsh adjustments. Start therapy on your own as the first step. That will eventually draw you and your wife into marital therapy, which will then lead to shared conversations about the lack of fulfilling intimacy in your marriage. Because you'll be struggling together, toward the common goal of preserving your marriage, when the decision to split is made, it will be relatively amicable and it will be mutual. Isn't that a much better outcome for your kids than having their very angry, vindicate mother tell them how you fucked around with men behind her back?

    1. I didn't think what you wrote sounded cruel at all, just honest. What you described, I know, is reality for so many in my situation. I just don't think it is as inevitable as you make it out to be. I'm sure you'll think that I am just in denial, or that I am over rationalizing. But I don't accept that my marriage is already doomed. Definitely likely, but not certainly.

      You are right, though, that I am not fully invested. I cannot deny that.

    2. I should have added that I am have already started thinking about therapy, starting with the men's group I wrote about in a previous post.

    3. You're not fully invested in the marriage and your wife knows that. She also doesn't trust you and now you've given her a fresh reason to be suspicious. Those are the undercurrents that are pulling you away from each other. How and when are things going to get better? When will she suddenly start trusting you more? When will you suddenly be more invested? You're on divergent paths and they're not going to change on their own - that's why divorce is inevitable.

      Of course your marriage isn't over yet. But it will be if you continue to be passive and let events play out. Recklessness is not a plan and nothing good will come of it.

      You don't need to deal with your issues head-on, at least to start with, but you and your wife do need to find a way to reconnect and communicate more honestly. Starting therapy (and telling your wife that you're going) is a gentle way to make that happen. If you're able to successfully reconnect with her, your interest in cheating with men will decline, a lot. On the other hand, If therapy doesn't bring you closer together, you'll realize that nothing will. If that happens, staying together won't seem worth it for either of you. Divorce will be a mutual decision, not the result of you getting caught and having all hell break loose.

      Also, becoming more self-aware doesn't necessarily mean understanding your sexuality better. In your case it means being more aware of why you would get caught up with a needy guy like Barry in the first place, among other things.

  2. Ah Dude, I feel for you. I too have the secret e-mail account, the google voice number and hidden photos in a locked secret application on my phone.

    But, for the me consequences are only outing myself to friends and co workers, many of whom probably already suspect (and probably don't care) about my interest in guys.

    I wish I could advise you.

    I don't suppose the wife would be "into it." Would she? I think that would be the only fair way to play on both teams.

    1. Jack, it is entirely possible that she might be "into it". I have not been able to figure out why exactly I have been unwilling to go down that road. When this started, I was convinced that I needed to do this on my own. Maybe it's that I'm worried her answer would be a flat out "no", then my crossing the line would be an additional betrayal. Maybe I'm worried that should would want to explore with me, like a threesome, but that alone would ultimately destroy our relationship. In the end, it's fear.

  3. I can't tell if my story is just quaint and common or wildly unique, but I definitely don't want to prophecize the outcome or prescribe the best path. It's hard, but I think you know you the best but it's clouded by self-justifying thoughts. For me, I cheat and my partner cheats as well, but I don't think we lack intimacy. We just find sexual chemistry with others that we can't bring ourselves to do with each other. I can't really fuck him mercilessly no matter how much he begs for it. But we can't bring ourselves to have an open relationship because we are insecure that it will give us free license to find that incredible intimacy we share in another. So we end up where we are, atypical maybe but definitely not storybook but I'm still very much happy, oddly enough.